Adeptus Mechanicus Display Base

I finished a new display base for my Frater Astrotechnicus (Techmarine Fraternity) army.  I want to apologize for the poor lighting and background in these photos, but the display is much too big to fit into my light box setup.  My army is themed around apprentice Techmarines during their training on Mars.  Most of the 1000 Space Marine chapters have around 30 Techmarines at any given time.  That is 30,000 active marines.  Each potential Techmarine is sent to Mars to be trained and indoctrinated by the Adeptus Mechanicus for at least 30 years.  I figure that means there must be several thousand Astartes warriors going through the training process at any given time.  That is the basic back-story, so lets get on with the display base.

I built the display off of a hard plastic serving tray I bought at Ikea for $3.  The tray measures approximately 18 inches by 14 inches.  I wanted to use a tray so when I am not having the army displayed I can use the tray to collect my dead and carry the army around between tables.  The design is pretty simple.  There is diamond plate textured plasticard on the tray with a tiered structure in the back.  I figured this could represent the interior of a Mechanicum hanger or cruiser.  The structure in the back is not attached to the tray.  This makes for easier transportation, and it keeps the functionality of the tray.  As a bonus I can also use the building as terrain.
 The structure is built from the Pegasus Hobbies Hexagon Construction Set.  This is a pretty versatile kit that can make buildings, or catwalks.  It is also completely snap together, so you can reposition parts as you need.  It is also fairly inexpensive.  Since this building is almost 16 inches long and completely enclosed I needed several sets to get enough pieces.

 This photo shows my sneaky trick; the structure actually sits mostly behind the tray.  This gives me roughly 4 inches of extra depth over having it sit on the tray.  I accomplished this very easily by just leaving a hole on each end for the rim of the tray to pass through.  I painted the display in a Metallic scheme by basecoating everything boltgun metal, followed by a wash of black and a wash of brown, and finally a dry-brush of silver.  I am probably going to go back and add some rust effects with weathering powders.

 Here is a shot of the tray with the structure lifted off.  For small events and everyday use this alone could make an adequate display.  The tiled artwork was the most complicated part of this project, but it was still pretty easy.  I found the art on google images searching for Ad Mech information.  I do not know who is the artist that created this piece, but I would like to give them credit.  To be clear, there is no way I could have created this art myself; I am not that talented.  If you know who the artist is please leave a comment.  It is really an inspiring piece.  The Cyborg Vetruvian Man is just perfect for a gothic machine cult.

To create the tiles first I sized the artwork on my computer and printed it out on cardstock.  I printed it in color to keep the yellow aged effect.  I then glued the image to a plastic sheet with Elmer's Spray Glue.  This is a good glue to use when working with paper because it will not shrink and warp when it dries.  From there I cut the plastic sheet with the art securely attached into one and a half inch squares.  I used a utility knife and a ruler to keep the lines straight.  To create some space between the tiles I lightly filed down all of the edges at an angle.  To enhance that effect when I glued the tiles to the tray I intentionally made the pieces not line up perfectly.  I think that makes it look more believable as floor tiles.  I affixed the tiles with super glue.

I figure if I took the time to make a themed army on themed bases I might as well have a themed display.  I am excited to put this to use in a tournament at the end of the month.  If there is interest in seeing this army in detail let me know and I will do a show and tell in a future post.  Be sure to join Santa Cruz Warhammer on facebook to see more of our work and to share your own.



  1. I have that picture on a t-shirt that I got at Gamesday some years back, so its an official GW image. No idea who the artist was though. :-/

  2. I've been trying to find that artwork forever... Is there some way you could email that to me?

  3. I've been trying to find that artwork forever... Is there some way you could email that to me?

  4. Nice work! Like the trick with the structure.

  5. It's definitely an official GW image, it can be found on pages 86 and 87 of the Inquisitor rulebook.

    I want to say that it's Karl Kopinski art, but it could easily be one of the other half-dozen illustrators who contributed to the Inq rulebook.

    This Warseer thread has some decent quality versions of the image:

  6. Hey dude that army looks awesome. I would love to see a showcase of it as the mechanicus and techmarines are my all time favourite part of this hobby. Nice work.


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